Sept. 30, 2004 – On Monday, a district judge called for the Department of Justice to release a private document outlining the rationale for allowing local police the unprecedented power to enforce non-criminal immigration laws. US District Judge Lewis Kaplan said that the April 2002 report must be handed over to civil rights lawyers since Attorney General John Ashcroft and his associates referred to it when justifying their decision to give police more authority.
"[The] department's view that it may adopt a legal position while shielding from public view the analysis that yielded that position is offensive," the judge scolded in his decision.
The American Civil Liberties Union last year filed a request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, seeking access the document. ACLU attorney Omar Jadwat argued: "There is no justification for secret lawmaking. The court has rightly foiled Attorney General Ashcroftâ€™s attempt to use secrecy to shield his radical policies from public scrutiny and debate."